Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter


Fortunately, tonight's MinneDemo presentations did not center around new and improved ways for your friends to waste your time, like the last one I attended. If there was a theme, it was more "reinventing the wheel"--- particularly because a couple of the applications were bike-related.

ArtsApp: a web portal submitting and reviewing media, aimed at fine arts admissions or grant committees. It looked pretty well-put together. (Reinventing the wheel, yes, but actually doing it better and addressing a niche which doesn't seem like it was well served--- he mentioned that the state of the art is still shipping CDs around.)

Reliacloud: Visi's cloud computing service. The demo didn't do a good job demonstrating the ways it's superior to Amazon; he mentioned better networking support and reliability. Runs Xen VMs at the moment; I talked to the presenter afterward and he says VMware is in the pipe. He didn't know what they use for storage.

Pedal Brain: "Formula 1 technology for bicycles", data collection platform for bicycle racing. They use an iPhone instead of an embedded processor; the iPhone app displays data in real-time for monitoring race workouts, and also uploads to a web site so the coach can see it. They brought a bicyclist along to pedal a stationary bike to demo it. Best line: "We had to make the battery larger because the cyclists kept complaining it died too soon. Eventually we figured out that they were listening to music with Bluetooth headsets."

MinuteBids: Online bidding for commercial property maintenance. Pretty slick design--- uses Google Maps for service area but Bing for aerial photos. You can annotate your property map with the desired region to plow/mow/whatever, mark things for special attention, etc. They collect a small % of winning bids.

Pedalr: Etsy for bikes. It was certainly nicer than EBay or Craigslist, which was the goal. But I don't really buy the "community" aspect he was pushing--- at least, he didn't demonstrate what there was to the community other than "here are people selling bikes who are near you." Reinventing MLS home search for mobile devices. His business model is to customize this for various realtors, who make it available for free as a lead generator. It's a slick interface (certainly better than the web site we used back in 2003) and geolocation is nice.

MileMarker: Capture ideas; rank them by value and feasibility; plot them. I wasn't convinced this was worthwhile as its own application (we can do this in Bugzilla or Rally, for example) but it looked like it worked well. Could add a widget to web pages to capture user feedback and enter it into the system. Certainly better than personal productivity tools for this purpose, but not compelling to have my company switch to a system like this.

Judah Live Information Manager for Business: It's a monster. It's groupware, I think? Email, shared documents, NAS, Google Wave, IM, VPN, and remote desktop all in one application. (They integrate Citrix so you can run applications from the central office while you're away.) I didn't think any of the individual pieces were better than existing solutions, and didn't really see the value in having them tied together. Cisco VPN + Jabber + Trac + Google Docs + Gmail + Vyew pretty much cover it for my company. (We are phasing out Google Docs--- VNC and Skype have their uses too but Vyew pretty much handles that.)

Judah Software were the only guys to bring a Windows laptop (an HP); everybody else was on Macs.

Mobile Roots: iPhone applications for political campaigns. Their platform makes it very easy to change an application's content and look without going through Apple's process; this is just their first usage of that technology. Custom development costs are out of reach of local political campaigns; they can set up an app with news, 'donate' button, issue list, etc. for about $500 plus a small monthly fee.

WebSlide: Reinventing presentation software? Paul's complaint is that when he ships PDF mockups of web pages around people, might view them at the wrong size, or be looking at the wrong document. So this is a web-based application which presents "actual size" images as a mockup instead, which lets you change the browser size to get some idea of what it will look like in the final version.
Tags: computers, geek, internet, minnedemo, technology
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